Northampton citizens express appreciation

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 3, 2005

JACKSON – What do you get when you apply $400,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to housing rehabilitation, clearance and replacement of homes to scattered sites within Northampton County?

A thanks that left at least two of the eight program recipients of the North Carolina Department of Commerce (DOC) CDBG Scattered Site Housing (SSH) Rehabilitation virtually speechless.

Waiting for a moment to express their heartfelt thanks for the efforts put forth on their behalf, Judy Harris and Queenie Fleetwood told members of the Northampton County Board of Commissioners of their deep appreciation for the assistance afforded them through the CDBG program.

&uot;This is really a miracle for me,&uot; said Harris. &uot;I have really been blessed,&uot; echoed Fleetwood, both of whom shared their input during a public hearing here Monday.

The grant money, which runs on a three-year cycle, was awarded to the county in 2002 and subsequently used to repair and/or replace a total of eight homes.

&uot;Originally, I believe there were 17 people on the list to participate in the program,&uot; said Dennis Patton of the Upper Coastal Plain COG, explaining there was a process applications must first pass through prior to approval.

&uot;Although I am not the administrator over this grant, I believe each application is evaluated individually and prioritized based on the severity of need,&uot; he added.

According to the NCDOC CDBG Final Performance Report, four homes were repaired, four homes demolished and four households relocated to new replacement homes, expending $360,000 worth of the funds with $40,000 used for administration.

&uot;I just want to congratulate those who have come to share their comments with us today on their new and/or improved homes,&uot; said Northampton County Manager Wayne Jenkins.

Patton indicated the remaining nine applicants whose homes did not make it during this three-year cycle would likely be placed on the next cycle list for reevaluation against the needs of others, but offered no guarantee of which order they might be placed.

Recipients of the CDBG improvements are required to maintain ownership of their home, agreeing not to sell it, for a period of seven years.

For more information on the program or to see if you qualify, contact the Northampton County Economic Development Office at 252-534-1092.